A guide for foreign investors on the priority & restricted sectors to invest in Oman

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients identify the optimum investment strategy for their business setup in Oman. Our services include i) Oman business registration ii) business licensing iii) Oman corporate banking solutions iv) visa solutions and staff recruitment strategies and v) virtual office services.

This guide helps international investors identify key areas in Oman in which to invest, as well as restricted sectors.

Sectors open for wholly foreign-owned entities

  1. Free zones with investments focused mainly in i) metal and steel ii) fisheries and food iii) chemical and material processing iv) manufacturing and assembly v) logistics and distribution vi) filters and petrochemicals vii) tourism;
  2. Foreign investments contributing towards Oman’s economic development, mainly in manufacturing or large infrastructure projects:
    • These are subject to i) receiving a recommendation from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and ii) approval from the Cabinet of Ministers;
    • Minimum share capital requirement of OMR500,000 is required.
  3. Integrated tourism complexes enabling non-Omani nationals to fully own real estate in the country;
  4. For all US entities and/or citizens (as a result of the US-Oman Free Trade Agreement of January 2009);
  5. For all GCC entities and/or nationals (one or more GCC nationals can fully own an Omani LLC);
  6. Electric and telecommunications services;
  7. A registered subsidiary and branch of the foreign company.

Investment sectors requiring foreigners to form joint ventures with a 30% local shareholder*

  1. Oil and gas;
  2. Construction and infrastructure;
  3. Tourism;
  4. Banking and capital markets;
  5. Manufacturing and processing;
  6. Fishing and food processing;
  7. Mining and exploitation.

* Upon Ministry of Commerce and Industry approval, local shareholding can be reduced.

Investment sectors requiring foreigners to form joint ventures with a 51% local shareholder**

  1. Commercial agency;
  2. Omani nationals must be appointed as the designated commercial agents;
  3. Import, distribution and promotion of goods and/or supplying of services in Oman;

** Upon MoCI approval the local shareholding can be reduced to 30% or less.

Note: The above stated local shareholding condition can be satisfied by either an i) Omani ii) GCC or iii) US national.

Investment sectors where no foreign-owned entities are allowed

  1. Real estate and brokerage services;
  2. Non-Omani companies and individuals are allowed to own real estate only in Integrated Tourism Complexes;
  3. General trade and services (37 business activities as per MoCI-issued negative investment list);
  4. Sole proprietorships or establishments (allowed to GCC nationals for certain activities only).
  5. Note: The above stated local shareholding condition can be satisfied by either an i) Omani ii) GCC or iii) US national.

    New Foreign Investment Law of 2020

    The new Foreign Investment Law of January 2020 i) now allows 100% foreign ownership of LLCs and ii) introduced the One Person Company (OPC) or Single Shareholder LLC, which in principle can be setup for Omani and GCC nationals and foreign entrepreneurs alike.

    This section will updated over the coming months pending further Ministerial decisions clarifying the exact scope of new business activities that will now be allowed to be 100% foreign-owned.

    Conclusion

    Contact us if you require Healy Consultants Group PLC’s assistance to determine the optimum investment strategy for your Oman business setup.

Contact us

For additional information on our investment strategy services in Oman, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Petar Chakarov, directly:
client relationship officer - Petar
  • Mr. Petar Chakarov
  • Client Engagements Manager
  • Contact me!